BTB - Update Congestion in the Ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp

09 October 2018

Dear valued customer, Unfortunately waiting times for container barges at the deepsea terminals in Antwerp and Rotterdam continue to be between 12 and > 84 hours. The terminals are not able to process the amount of transported containers in an efficient manner, due to several reasons: shortage of staff, labour disruption, hick-up in IT-systems, multiple berthings of seavessels, groundworks on terminals, full stacks, transshipments and lower than expected productivity.

This has its influence on the delivery of your export containers and collection of your import containers. We try to load your export containers as early as possible, as to create more time for delivery. For the imports we are continuously in contact with the planning of the several terminals.

Whenever they have the opportunity to give us a call/appointment, we try to arrange a barge to be there, either with our own barge or with a chartered one. We also make use of our contacts at the shipping lines, but mostly, they are not able to change the situation.

Per deepsea terminal we try to make our callsizes as big as possible, to make it attractive to be handled. Also alternative services can be offered via Kramer, Waalhaven Botlek Terminal or Barge Center Waalhaven to get our import container off the terminal to stop demurrage or deliver your export container on time to the congested terminal.

The deepsea terminals take a very long time to give feedback about the requested calls. Even when we are in the ports the actual call still isn’t made. This makes any barge planning extremely difficult.

Because of the low water situation on the river Rhine it also becomes more difficult to find charters and they are very expensive.

There are still talks going on with all the stakeholders involved, but the ‘ Congestieberaad’ nor Nextlogic offers short term solutions for the problems.

As the terminals are delaying our barge we don’t accept any costs resulting from this. We advise you not to send empties to congested terminals and advise you to contact your shipping company to discuss your free period for detention and demurrage.

Per booking we will keep you informed about the specific situation and alternatives.

The overall situation continues to be unsatisfactory and has a negative impact on the costs of inland waterway transport. Therefore we are forced to continue applying a congestion surcharge. The handling problems in the ports lead to high costs for us and this surcharge only partly covers these extra costs.

For us the situation is also frustrating, but we do our utmost to serve our customers in the best way we can, given the circumstances and opportunities at hand. 

With kind regards,

Barge Terminal Born

Norman Verstoep, Managing Director

T  +31-88-9440105, M +31-6-51215426 

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